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Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday's Message: By God’s Grace

After the resurrection of Christ many different rumors were started to explain away the miracle of Jesus’ return from the grave. Many believed that Christ’s disciples had sneaked into His tomb during the night and taken His body. Others claimed that because you couldn’t recognize Him when they nailed Him to the cross that He never even died.  Some have taught that Jesus merely became unconscious on the cross, and later awoke in the tomb and walked out!  Another theory that was circulated was that His followers were so distraught by His death and wanted to see Him again so severely that they all had a “mass hallucination” and simply imagined the whole thing.  Developing and spreading strange, illogical theories to contradict inconvenient historical facts is obviously not a modern or new tactic of Satan.

As Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth he was adamant that the Gospel story was not simply his version of the events; it is, “According to the Scriptures!” He reminds them of all of the eye witness testimonies that confirmed this historical event, and the order in which they occurred. Also, he brought to their attention that he had seen Him.  After laying a foundation for his message, Paul gets very transparent about the weight of the baggage, called regret, that he was carrying around.  It is such an amazing story of grace, how that this man went from being a fierce persecutor of the church to a courageous apostle of Christ who constantly proclaimed the Gospel message.  Believer we all have a reason to quit.  We have all committed wicked, abominable acts against God; anyone who says they have not is either highly misinformed or outrageously arrogant.  We can choose to allow our pasts to stop us, or we can choose to allow those same events to motivate us as Paul did.  “I laboured more abundantly than they all.”  Paul decided that His past was going to be his motivation to do more for God to make up for lost time, not his excuse to do nothing for God. None of us are worthy to serve the King of kings, but we must determine that we will not be worthless to Him either!

I Corinthians 15:1-10:
1Co 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:5  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
1Co 15:9  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1Co 15:10  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

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